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Solar-powered irrigation a shining success in Benin

Solar-powered irrigation systems can boost food and income levels in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, researchers have found.
Irrigation is known to reduce poverty in Asia, they wrote in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but the success of the technique is not well-documented in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The team, from Stanford University, United States, installed and analysed solar-powered drip irrigation systems — which use photovoltaic pumps to deliver groundwater to the surface — in arid Benin, where most farmers rely on a 3–6 month rainy season and irrigate by hand.

The researchers installed the solar pumps in two villages. Compared with villages using hand irrigation, the pumps led to more vegetables being produced and farmers earning more money.

Additional information: Full article at SciDev
News date: 06/01/2010

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